The interior of the Public—the first of Ian Schrager's more approachable and "downscale" new hotels—may be incredibly chic and stylish and attract an uber-hip crowd, but the bones of the building date back decades and once housed one of Chicago's most storied spots: the Ambassador East Hotel and the Pump Room. Schrager, knowing a find when he sees it, gave the building and its 285 rooms a $35 million, top-to-bottom renovation and opened it to much fanfare in 2011. Schrager rechristened it the Public, with its open lobby with wide tables for reading the paper or working on your laptop with free Wi-Fi and Library Bar, which doubles as a hip coffee bar serving La Colombe in the daytime and a swank lounge with an adjacent plush screening room at night. Best of all, Schrager overhauled the famed Pump Room, which had served every major celebrity from the 1940s through the 1980s, and brought in chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten to keep the party going. The hotel's location, mere blocks from Oak Street and North Avenue beaches and swank shopping in the Gold Coast, positions you in a great popping off point to head in nearly any direction to explore the city. And when you return, you'll quickly find comfort in the minimalist room with the oh-so-comfy bed and killer views of Lake Michigan and Chicago.